At times, people who live in Utah need to obtain a copy of their criminal record. There are a number of reasons why individuals may seek the information. Although Utah is what is known as a “closed-records” state, meaning criminal records information is not readily available to the general public, there are certain circumstances which may necessitate obtaining a personal record anyway.
If someone is the subject of a criminal record, they may want to review it and challenge inaccuracies. Or, if a person has been a victim of identity theft, it is a good idea to request a record to make certain that criminal records have not been compiled falsely under the stolen identity. Finally, Utah has very liberal expungement laws, allowing for removal or expungement of conviction information. In all of these situations, obtaining your criminal record is a good idea. This article will discuss several methods of obtaining them, including through the State, approved agencies, and the Courts.
Like all other states, Utah has a central repository for maintaining criminal records. In Utah, that repository is the Bureau of Criminal Identification of the Department of Public Safety. Created in 1998 and enacted by Utah §53-10-201, the Bureau of Criminal Identification maintains criminal records and provides individuals access to their own records by following a fairly simple process.
When requesting a personal criminal record directly from the Bureau of Criminal Identification, requests must either be made in person at their office, located at 3888 West 5400 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84129. Alternatively, individuals can download and print out the form, complete it, and submit it via mail. Online applications are not allowed.
Whether submitting a request application in person or mail, individual requesters must submit a fee of $15.00. If applying in person, individuals have the option of paying in cash, by check or money order drawn on a U.S. Bank, or by credit card. When applying by mail, people can pay by U.S. Check or money order, or by credit card. Obviously, cash payments are not accepted through the mail.
When requesting records from the Bureau, individuals must follow all instructions on the application form. In addition to the fee, applicants must submit fingerprints along with their application. Fingerprints can be obtained at a local law enforcement agency, and costs for fingerprints will vary by the agency. Alternatively, if applying in person, individuals can be fingerprinted by the Bureau of Criminal Identification itself. Whether submitting a request by mail or in person, people must include a copy of a valid state ID. The Bureau specifically will not accept Utah Driving Privilege cards as proof of identity.
The Bureau of Criminal Identification indefinitely stores records unless the subject of the record has successfully sought expungement or what is known as a 402 reduction. Expungements in Utah are available to many people, including some with multiple convictions, including felonies. Alternatively, people who do not meet expungement requirements can apply for a section 402 reduction, which acts to reduce a felony conviction to a class B misdemeanor.
If you are the subject of a criminal record, you also can obtain information regarding the conviction directly from the court or the arresting agency. Additionally, there are a number of law enforcement agencies throughout the State that are approved criminal records providers for the Bureau of Criminal Identification. A complete list of these approved agencies can be found here. There will be fees associated with processing such requests that vary according to agency and jurisdiction. You will need your case number and data in order to access the information.
It is possible to have inaccurate or incomplete information appear on your criminal record, and the State provides a method for disputing them. Inaccuracies can be caused by cases of identity theft, communication failures between agencies, and the issue that some agencies simply store records longer than do others. If you have obtained your criminal record and notice incorrect information, then you have a right to dispute them.
If an individual wishes to dispute criminal record information, the process is very similar to the process to obtain records. First, people complete the Application to Challenge Criminal History Record, and submit it together with a copy of a valid state identification, supporting documentation and fingerprints. BCI will review the documentation and the record, and then make a determination. If they agree that the record should be modified, they notify the individual to let them know the changes or corrections made. If they disagree that the information is inaccurate or incomplete, individuals can appeal the decision to the district court pursuant to Utah § 63G-4-402.
When an individual needs to obtain a copy of their criminal record in Utah, the process is relatively simple and is fairly inexpensive. The most important thing to remember is to enclose the appropriate application fee as well as a copy of the identification and fill out the information completely and accurately. Additionally, remember that all applications for criminal records in Utah must be accompanied by fingerprints.
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